It’s one for the record books. It has never been colder than today in the South Bend area. We hit a new record low of – 20 degrees Fahrenheit, compared to the old record of -13 F on Jan. 30, 1966. And WSBT Meteorologist Abby Weppler tells us that temperatures are going to plummet tonight.

Brrrrrrr.

We remain under a Wind Chill Warning until 2 p.m. Thursday across the region, according to the National Weather Service. This includes continued dangerous wind chills and between 1 and 4 inches of snow accumulation. Many schools and organizations — including Beacon — are canceling classes and services again Thursday.

Our number one goal is the safety and well-being of our associates, patients and visitors. So please read the following and share the latest news and information with your team.

ALERT UPDATES ON BEACON WEBSITE

Patients and staff who have questions about departments that are closing or limiting their hours during the next couple of days are encouraged to visit www.BeaconHealthSystem.org. Click on the yellow bar across the top of the page to see the very latest department closing updates.

 

*** NOTE TO MANAGERS AND DIRECTORS ABOUT CLOSINGS***

As a department leader, it’s your responsibility to work with your entity leadership to determine any departmental closings. If your entity leadership decides a closure is necessary, please do the following:

*   Inform all your scheduled Associates about the closure and remind Associates about your attendance policies
*   Inform all scheduled patients about the closing
*   Inform marketing at marketing@beaconhealthsystem.org. Marketing will notify the public via media and social media channels when appropriate, and work with Emergency Preparedness as appropriate.

 

REACHING OUT TO ASSOCIATES

We have staff to pick associates up at home if you are unable to start your car, and we offer jump-start assistance with your car on our campus. We’re also providing hot food and drinks to our dedicated valet and shuttle drivers, who are braving the cold temperatures. We are so grateful for the commitment of all our staff at our Beacon hospitals and offices as they care for patients no matter the circumstances.

 

MEMORIAL CAMPUS SHUTTLE

Two 12-passenger vans are running in a loop between the Memorial Hospital Main Entrance and all Memorial associate surface parking lots today and Thursday. The shuttles will run between 5:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. both days. The loop is expected to take approximately 10 minutes.

 

Important:

  • Please allow extra time for coming to work and taking the shuttle.
  • Stay in your car and turn on your hazard lights to notify the shuttle driver that you are waiting for the van.

For associates who work past 8 p.m. on these days, please call Memorial Security for assistance at 574-647-3245.

BE AWARE OF CURRENT ROAD CONDITIONS

To check out the road conditions in Indiana, check out the Indiana Department of Homeland Security’s Travel Advisory page. CLICK HERE

SECURITY CAN HELP WITH JUMPSTARTS

If you encounter a dead battery, security can help! Just call 574-523-3289 at Elkhart General Hospital, and 574-647-3245 at Memorial Hospital for security to help jumpstart your vehicle on those hospital campuses.

TAKE YOUR TIME WHEN DRIVING

When you’re heading out, allow plenty of time to travel to and from work in snow or other inclement weather. Being in a hurry can lead to bad outcomes on the road. We want everyone to arrive safely at work and to return home to your family safely, too.

USE CAUTION WHEN WALKING

Be aware of the conditions of the roadways, parking lots, sidewalks and building entrances. Wear appropriate footwear and exercise extra caution when crossing streets as crosswalks may be slippery and vehicles may not be able to quickly stop.

KEEP YOUR CAR STOCKED FOR EMERGENCIES

Here are tips for a “Go Bag” to have in your vehicle from Beacon’s Emergency Preparedness Manager Chris Heck. This “Go Bag” will come in handy if bad weather hits and you get stuck in a ditch or can’t travel and have to stay at your hospital or office.

Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant
Spare underwear and wool socks
Three-day supply of medications
Phone charger and battery pack
Hand warmers
Flashlight
Gloves and hat
Blanket
Road flares or safety strobes
Jumper cables
Extra wiper fluid
One can of Fix-A-Flat
Window scraper
NEW empty two-gallon gas can
Kitty litter or carpet (for traction)